Everyone and their neighbour seems to be blogging these days and you want to also, but have no clue where to start. Here are a few points to get you started.
What are you going to write about?
Finding a topic might be hard at first if you don’t have a role you want to fill. If you’re a photographer, career or hobbyist, you’ll obviously be writing about your photographs. It’s okay to not identify your voice; it took me about two years to find it, and it’s always changing. If you don’t have a topic yet, just write. It will become obvious after a few posts. JUST WRITE!
Hosted or Self-Hosted?
If you’ve been thinking about blogging, you’ve seen this. And if you’re not tech-savvy, this is one of those questions which has presented itself as a hurdle. I’ll help you with this one.
Are you going to be marketing yourself, from a career standpoint, via your blog? Or are you just going to post a few family holiday photos, and a couple recipes? That determines which you’re going to get.
If you’re blogging as part of your career, I would suggest getting your own dot com (like www.desireroberts.com). If it’s just some personal pieces, a few recipes, and some holiday photos of your quirky family, then get a hosted solution.
Hosted: WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr?
These three seem to be at the top of the blogging list these days, gaining popularity as everyone wants to blog. WordPress is in the lead with over three billion blogs, and I have no idea where Blogger and Tumblr are in terms of number of hosted blogs. Tumblr is a bit different though, where there is a social network involved. Tumblr is like Facebook, but for blogs. So you publish, and it gets added to the timeline of people who follow you. My advice is to try them out, and pick one you like, then close the other two accounts.
Self-Hosted: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.
If you have your own server space, the next step is to choose a platform. If you’re not very tech savvy, ask someone to install WordPress for you. WordPress is actually very easy to install, and even easier to use; I have a blog post on this.
Make it a habit
Have you ever found a blog post you loved, and then what more the blogger posted only to find that it was a one-off viral post? You don’t want to be that blogger. When someone finds your post, you should have more things for them to read. Set a schedule for blogging; daily, weekly, monthly, and STICK TO IT. I would suggest starting out weekly and if you find that you have more to write about, then write more often and schedule those posts. You’ll also find your niche the more you post.
This is the most important point. It’s easy to see a blog you like and to try to mimic it. In my experience, that does not work. You just have to own your own voice. You see, if you try on someone else’s voice, you won’t find your own, and it won’t be original. People want original online. So, write from the heart, even if you think you suck. You’ll get better with practice, you’ll find your niche voice, and you’ll get your very own fan base, who will demand your content!